Pest or Disease

Monilinia brown rot is one of the most important diseases of peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch). In this study, the susceptibility to Monilinia rot of peach fruit during ripening was analysed weekly by assessing infected fruits upon artificial inoculation. Fruit drastically reduced their susceptibility to Monilinia rot along with ripening, becoming resistant in correspondence to pit hardening (a two-week period). Susceptibility increases again thereafter. With the aim to identify genes possibly correlated with the variation of brown rot susceptibility, a microarray based-transcriptome analysis was undertaken to compare the expression of genes between susceptible fruit (two weeks before the pit hardening stage) and resistant fruit (at the pit hardening stage). This approach pointed out that genes involved in defence and primary and secondary metabolism, in particular some phenylpropanoid and flavonoid related genes, are differentially expressed in susceptible and resistant fruit.

Considering that several aromatic compounds with antifungal properties are known to accumulate during endocarp lignification, the expression levels of genes encoding key enzymes of the phenylpropanoid and jasmonate pathways was quantified by real time RT-PCR in the peel of both susceptible and resistant fruit. Results show that during the two-week time between the susceptible and resistant fruit stages the expression of several genes involved in the synthesis of phenylpropanoid and jasmonate compounds drastically changes, supporting a role for these metabolites in the fruit response to Monilinia.

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Duan JJ, Bauer LS, Hansen JA, Abell KJ, van Driesche R (2012a) An improved method for monitoring parasitism and establishment of Oobius agrili (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), an egg parasitoid introduced for biological control of the emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in North America. Biol Control 60:255–261 CrossRef

A marine bacterium with mosquitocidal effect was isolated from the gut region of the marine red snapper fish (Lutjanus sanguineous). The 16S rRNA gene sequence alignment showed that this isolate belonged to the strain Bacillus cereus VCRC-B540 (NCBI: JN377787). Biochemical studies showed that the strain could be useful in mosquito control. It showed an increasing pattern of toxicity for Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles stephensi, and Aedes aegypti, without negative effects for the non-targeted organisms Chironomus riparius, Daphnia cephalata and Notonecta glauca. A qualitative analysis of B. cereus showed that a polypeptide (M.wt: 90 kDa) was associated with the toxicity observed. Consequently, the peptide sequence is identified to be a surface layer protein. A phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA gene sequence of B. cereus revealed shared homology with the Bacillus species. Hence, it is concluded that the marine bacterium (B. cereus) can be useful in the biological control of mosquito vectors.

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Puccinia cygnorum is one of only two native Australian rusts known to occur on host plants of the family Myrtaceae. On the two collections known to have been made in Australia, including the type, the host species has been recorded as Kunzea ericifolia and K. vestita. Examination of these specimens, in the light of taxonomic revision of Kunzea, allows the re-determination of both as K. glabrescens.

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Tamarillo was found to be heavily infested with powdery mildew in Bali, February 2012. The cause of the disease, Pseudoidium aff. neolycopersici, was characterised based on the morphology and molecular phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed spacer sequence. This is the first report of P. aff. neolycopersici on tamarillo in Indonesia.

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During July to August 2013 hop (Humulus lupulus) buds growing in Tasmania (n = 280) and Victoria (n = 200) from nine varieties were sampled and tested for the presence of American hop latent virus (AHLV) by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction using coat protein gene specific primers. Immunological results showed 153/480 bud samples were positive. RT-PCR resulted in an additional 19 positive samples. Coat protein gene sequence analysis showed 98–99 % identity with AHLV isolates from the USA.

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Cob rot epidemics occurred in NSW in sweet corn in 2002 and maize in 2003. Investigations were undertaken to establish the species of Fusarium associated with both instances. Dependent on region, F. verticillioides, F. proliferatum, and F. subglutinans were isolated more frequently. The epidemics were unique in their occurrence being in two corn types, in consecutive years, and in two regions.

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Both porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and swine influenza are acute, highly contagious swine diseases. These diseases pose severe threats for the swine industry and cause heavy economic losses worldwide. In this study, we have developed a chimeric virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and H3N2 influenza virus and investigated its immunogenicity in mice. The HA and M1 proteins from the H3N2 influenza virus and the PRRSV GP5 protein fused to the cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains of the NA protein were both incorporated into the chimeric VLPs. Analysis of the immune responses showed that the chimeric VLPs elicited serum antibodies specific for both PRRSV GP5 and the H3N2 HA protein, and they stimulated cellular immune responses compared to the responses to equivalent amounts of inactivated viruses. Taken together, the results suggested that the chimeric VLP vaccine represents a potential strategy for the development of a safe and effective vaccine to control PRRSV and H3N2 influenza virus.

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